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Thursday 31 March 2011

What's In A Name!

First of all today, I urge you to go and visit Carol's post at Facing50withhumour - the one entitled "A Little Bit Of What You Fancy....".  It is all about her French friend (the uber slim Solange) giving her advice about how French women manage to stay so chic and slim.  I guarantee it will bring a big smile to your face.  I know that many of my Followers also follow Carol's blog, but if you don't, please go over and have a peek.

For my newer Followers, I thought perhaps you might be wondering about my Blog name, i.e. Southhamsdarling.  Well, the 'darling' part is obvious of course, for that is what I am (Hee Hee!).  The first part is from the South Hams, which is the most delightful part of the county of Devon, which is where I was born and live.  The South Hams really is the jewel in Devon's crown and that is why thousands of holidaymakers flock to the region during the summer months (Emmetts or Grockels, we call them).

In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles, described the South Hams like this -
"South Hams - District in the south of Devon, with a line being drawn from Tor Bay to Plymouth Sound, and spreading away to the sea in bold swells with winding combes, and rich vales.  It comprises about 240 square miles, and is so fertile as to be called "The Garden of Devon."

In the South Hams, the countryside consists of rolling hills which gently meander down to the sea, where the water glistens like diamonds.  I'm sending you all an open invitation to come and visit.  I know you would love visiting the little villages and the cottages with their thatched roofs.  I would treat you all to a Devon Cream Tea, which is a speciality in these parts.  In fact, as I walk along, quite often the locals are heard to say "tell e what, that maid, ers been eating too many cream teas again, me 'andsome!" 

You will see that I was trying to give you an example of the Devon dialect there, which is completely different from the rest of England.  I will write a separate post on that another time!

( I bet I've spoilt the myth now haven't I?!  I expect all my American friends were thinking that I spoke like the Queen! LOL!).

Just a few photos to whet your appetite for when you visit :

So, do you think you would like to come and visit?!

Tuesday 29 March 2011

Here's to Longer Days!

Here in England, the clocks sprung forward an hour on Saturday, so, at last, the longer days are with us, and it's now light until 7 p.m., which is wonderful.  

After my little blip with my health, I am now so thankful to have the strength to work in the garden once again, and the warmer temperatures certainly make you feel like being outside.  The lawns are looking lovely, all my tubs are now planted up with colourful pansies, and the new Arbour is  up and looking great!  (No! I didn't erect the Arbour - hubby did that!).

Because of the wedding reception being held in the garden in June, a new shed has gone up behind the garage. I wish I had taken a 'before' photo really, because it has looked like a junkyard for the past thirteen years (i.e. since we moved in!!), but now it's all nice and tidy. 

I tell you ladies, if you need things doing in the garden, just arrange to hold a Wedding Reception there.  It's a great excuse to get everything looking hunky-dory!!

Last Thursday, my daughter's partner arranged to look after the two little ones, so we were able to head off to Exeter (which is the County town of Devon, were we live).  It was so lovely to be able to spend some time on our own.  We browsed the shops, chatted, had a leisurely lunch with wine, and all the time the sun shone.

Exeter Cathedral

Part of the Roman old city wall

We had our lunch in an olde worlde riverside pub!

I don't know if anyone else is having trouble with their photographs at the moment.  There should have been photos of the magnolias in yesterday's post.  They were showing in the preview but then, when the post was published, the photos had disappeared.  Likewise the photos in this blog keep disappearing, so I just hope that they will be there when you read this!  ( I went back in and inserted the photos of the magnolias again).

Monday 28 March 2011

The Magnolias Are Out!

Hi there everyone.  Hope you are all well and that you enjoyed a good weekend.

I had a very productive weekend in the garden.  As well as the general gardening work, I also rubbed down all the benches, using hubby's new sander machine, and then painted them pretty colours.  Of course, hubby being a man,  had to spend half an hour explaining to me how to use this little machine.  Golly gosh, I just don't know what I would do without him, always looking over my shoulder to make sure that I'm doing things properly.  (I don't know whether my American friends will recognize the irony (or even sarcasm!)  in that remark!!!).

I have received an order for yet another birthday cake, for someone who has a birthday today.  Yes, that's you, DESIREE, over at Driftwood Ramblings.  I only met Desiree recently through Carol over at Facing50withhumour, but we all seem to have the same sense of humour, which is great.
 Also, she is my first Follower from South Africa, a really beautiful country.

Carol (Facing50etc.etc.) has created (drew it all herself apparently. Ooooh!!) a Blog Button as a surprise for Desiree for her birthday, whilst my good friend Katherine from Katherines Corner and Made It For You very kindly agreed to make the Grab My Button bit to go with the picture.  I was supposed to be showing you Carol's brilliant creation here but, unfortunately, it won't let me save the picture that she e=mailed me.  Sorry about that Carol, but I'm sure everyone will be rushing over to Desiree's Blog page to see it for themselves!!

Ooops! Nearly forgot to show you the wonderful birthday cake that I have created.  I am now looking for premises and will be opening up my own  select little cake shop very soon, and orders are now being taken!!  I do think that I've surpassed myself with this latest creation, even if I do say so myself.  Are you ready?  Ta da!!


The magnolias are now out in our garden and I'm feeling very happy at the moment, which probably has something to do with the fact that my daughter and family (not forgetting the puppy, Alfred!) are coming over here to stay with us for a week soon. Can't wait, as we haven't seen them since Christmas. 

Sunday 27 March 2011

Sunday Snap!

Yes, it's that time again, when I have to look through my photos, to try and find something interesting to show you on a Sunday.

This time, I was struggling a bit, because all of my older photos aren't on the computer, so it would mean scanning them and then posting them.  I don't find that they come out quite so well that way, but I will have to try it another time.

No pesty grandchildren this week, but I thought I would let you see a photo of Maison-Lafitte, where my family live just outside Paris.  I think you will see that it is a very pretty place, and in the summertime they have baskets of flowers hanging everywhere.  On all the buildings and all the bridges as you drive across the rivers. 

As you enter the little town (with gorgeous patisseries, boulangeries etc. etc. Mmmm, my mouth is watering, just thinking about their wonderful pastries, which are little works of art in themselves!  Next time I am over there, I will take some photos), you drive across the River Seine, and this magnificent Chateau greets you.  I am thankful that I shall be going over there again in August.

Happy Sunday Everyone!

Friday 25 March 2011

Exciting City Breaks

My daughter who lives in Paris, is getting very excited, as she is off to Rome for the weekend   with a group of girlfriends. 

I've already been to Rome, so I'm not really jealous this time!  Last year, they went to Barcelona and the year before to Seville.  Now those are two places that are definitely on my list to visit.  I think Seville would probably be my first choice, as it is not such a big city.  I've also heard that Seville is the most romantic city in Spain, so I know that I would absolutely love it there.

The Old Town of Seville

I think I love City Breaks almost as much as I love going on a week or two week break.  One of my favourites (apart from Venice, which my older Followers - and I use that word loosely, you understand! - know that I absolutely adore) was Florence.  I can still remember sitting outside in the balmy night  air right next to the Duomo, enjoying a wonderful Italian meal. 

Believe it or not, the Duomo took six centuries to complete  and is now one of the most enduring symbols throughout the whole of Italy.

I was very lucky indeed that, for my 60th birthday, my family arranged for me to go to Prague.  Now that was absolutely wonderful and if you ever get the chance to go there, I would thoroughly recommend it.  I should say here that the April of my 60th birthday, was the hottest April I have ever known!  So we were still sitting outside at 11 p.m. at night, people watching and generally soaking up the wonderful ambience of this beautiful city. 

The old town square in Prague, with its origins in the 12th century, is one of the most beautiful historical sights in Europe. 

Old Town Square, Prague.

I'll finish off today with a couple of quotes on spring.

"All through the long winter, I dream of my garden. On the first day of spring, I dig my fingers deep into the soft earth. I can feel its energy, and my spirits soar." ~Helen Hayes.

"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome." ~Anne Bradstreet.

"I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden." ~Ruth Stout.

I would just like to give a very warm welcome to new Followers of my Blog.  I really do value every one of you, from the very first one to the very latest one.  Thank you all for  your support.

Thursday 24 March 2011

Another Birthday Cake to Deliver!!

I wasn't going to post today, until I heard that someone else needed a birthday cake, so I have been slaving over a hot oven for the past hour, and, voila!!


Now I know that Odie loves his little dog Rocky, but, unfortunately, I couldn't mould a Rocky on my cake, so I hope he won't mind a Snoopy one!

Odie is a very warm  blogging friend, who is always very caring towards others.  I'm sure he would love it if you popped over to say 'hi' and wish him a happy birthday at the same time.  He has a lovely blog, called The Simple Life, which is all that Odie really wants.

Wednesday 23 March 2011

Tuesday 22 March 2011

Happy Birthday to flowers on my table!

My friend over at flowers on my table has a very special birthday today.  She is a decorative artist and florist and lives in Ireland.  If you haven't paid her a visit before, I am sure she will make you feel very welcome.

So, Linda, this is specially for you. 


Monday 21 March 2011

I'll Try To Make This Interesting!

Hallo again all my little bloggy friends.  On Saturday morning, we held a coffee morning in aid of Children's Hospice South West , which I have mentioned on my Blog before.  See here. 

We managed to raise £250 which was fantastic.  A lot of people came along to support us, and it helped that it was a beautiful day, with clear blue skies and bright sunshine.  As we drove along the Devon lanes to the farmhouse where the coffee morning was being held, the banks were full of daffodils and primroses.

For those of you who don't know Devon, a lot of the roads (especially the ones leading to the sea) have very high banks, and you just can't see what is coming round the corner.  I know that oversea visitors find it very strange, trying to manoeuvre their large cars along these pretty little lanes! 

I hope these photos will give you some idea of what I'm talking about!

On  Thursday, my friend and I took ourselves into the City and, guess what, I bought my wedding outfit, complete with shoes, fascinator, and clutch bag!!  Couldn't believe I managed to get it all in the one go!!  I wish I could show it to you, but I'm afraid you will have to be patient and wait until June!!   Let's just say that I love it.  Nothing like those dresses that I showed you a couple of days ago.  This is a real mother of the bride outfit, with a colour that I love, and it fits me perfectly.  Yay!

Oh! After a week of struggling with it, I finally managed to get Southhamsdarling onto facebook, and I would love it if you would click on the facebook badge on the left hand side of my blog (which, hopefully, will take you into my page), and then click the 'Like' button.  Thank you so much.

Sunday 20 March 2011

Sunday Snaps!

Today I have three Sunday Snaps for you.  It is a series of photos taken at the same time, when my grandson was 15 months old.

As you can see, it all started off very well, and he was delighted to have his own little chair (which used to be my eldest granddaughters).

In this second picture, he is settling down, probably to watch Thomas the Tank Engine.

It's this third photo that I thought might make you smile.  It's just a typical little boy photo, don't you think?!  All he needs now is a can of beer and he'll be well away!!

To think that my granddaughter used to sit so daintily on this very same chair!

Thursday 17 March 2011

Blogger Day Of Silence For Japan

On Friday 18th March (tomorrow) I will not be posting on my Blog, as I will be joining in with the Blogger Day Of Silence for Japan.

It's cold over there, and most are without electricity, water, food, shelter and more.
On top of that, many have to deal with the loss of loved ones.
The immediate need for help really lies in helping the survivors.

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light,
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.
~Irish Blessing

For each petal on the shamrock
This brings a wish your way-
health, good luck, and happiness
For today and every day.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

But I'm Too Old To Wear That!

I spent the day yesterday with the daughter who is getting in married in June.  I explained that I really would have to start looking for an outfit for the wedding.

Immediately she proceeded to sit me down in front of various websites to look at all sorts of dresses, from maxi dresses (all the rage now, so I'm told) to 50's style dresses.  I was looking at them all with that sinking feeling.  I tried to explain that as I am now "a woman of a certain age" (well, let's be honest, a woman almost past her sell-by date), I didn't want to end up looking like mutton dressed as lamb.

A lot of these dresses were sleeveless.  I tried to explain that I would like just a little bit of my arm covered up.  "No problem" says the daughter.  "You can buy a pretty little shrug to go over the top".

A lot of the dresses were just above the knees.  I tried to explain that my knees seem to have turned into elephant's knees over the past couple of years.

A lot of the dresses were backless.  I tried to explain that I really didn't want to be showing my back.  But, of course, the shrug would come in handy again here.

By this time, I think we were both losing the will to live.  Fortunately, I then heard cries from upstairs, as both little ones  woke up at once. Phew!

These are a few of the dresses that she has said I should order :
Bit short! I don't think it's quite bright enough for a wedding, do you?

But at only 5 ft 1", I think a maxi dress would be a bit too much, don't you?!

50's style - This would be "just me" apparently!

Now this one I do quite like, but, unfortunately, it does have a lower back.

It's so much easier to be a man.  Just a suit, shirt and tie and voila!  You're all ready to go.

I thought I would finish off with a few funny quotes on marriage.  Enjoy!

"I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury."
-Groucho Marx

“The best way to remember your wife's birthday is to forget it once.” -H.V. Prochnow

“I have learned that only two things are necessary to keep one's wife happy. First, let her think she's having her own way. And second, let her have it.” -Lyndon B. Johnson

"A man's wife has more power over him than the state has."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

“My husband and I divorced over religious differences. He thought he was God, and I didn't.” -Unknown

“My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.”
-Rodney Dangerfield

“Getting married is a lot like getting into a tub of hot water. After you get used to it, it ain't so hot.” -Minnie Pearl

"Behind every great man there is a surprised woman."
-Maryon Pearson

“They say love is blind...and marriage is an institution. Well, I'm not ready for an institution for the blind just yet.” -Mae West

I think my favourite is the couple who divorced for religious reasons!!

Monday 14 March 2011

Poor Ruby!

"With any actions there is always is full of lessons to be learned but, unfortunately, some people will always be bottom of the class". (Source unknown).

Here we are at the start of another week and I thought I must tell you of an incident which happened a couple of days ago, when my daughter was here with the two little ones.  You really have got to have eyes in the back of your head when you've got two toddlers running around!

My daughter was dealing with my grandson in another room, and I was in the sun room with Ruby, having just given her some lunch.  I lifted her down from her high chair and just popped out of the room for less than a minute.  The next thing we heard were these screams from little Ruby. 

We both rushed out and there she was, sat on the floor with a broken glass with real jagged edges in her hand and blood streaming from her mouth.  My heart stopped for a minute - I'm sure you all know that feeling - there was blood everywhere.  All on the floor, all over her pretty little new dress that she had on.  

Anyway, when we could finally look to see what was happening, we could see that she had a deep cut right on the top of one of her fingers.  Fortunately, her mouth was alright, it was just that she had put her finger into her mouth.  It must have been so painful for the poor little soul.

I was rushing all over the house, pulling open cupboards and drawers looking for a little bandage or some such thing.  I had loads of plasters, but with the blood literally pouring out, we just couldn't get it dry enough to put a plaster on.  While all this was going on, the little grandson kept coming up to me, saying "don't worry Grandma.  don't worry Grandma!"

In the end I found some healing tape and we managed to get that on.  Ruby was by then trying to be very brave but, of course, every time she went to pick something up (it was on her right hand), the pain started all over again.

What had happened was I had left a glass on the window  sill (I know, I know!) and she must have reached up and picked it up.  She had then walked almost all the way across the room with it, but must have fallen and the glass would have broken, as we have a flagstone floor out in that room.  I felt sick, I can tell you, to think that I was the one that had left the glass there.

My future son in law popped down to see us this morning, and said that the wound wasn't closing over at all, so they took Ruby up to the local Pharmacy.  The Pharmacist had a good look at it, and said that the only thing he could suggest was to put superglue into the wound to hold it together and the skin would then grow around it!  

I didn't really like the sound of that at all, but, apparently, the Pharmacist said that this was one of the reasons why superglue was first invented, and it was used a lot in the first World War, to heal wounds.  Who would have thought it!

Anyway, I just hope that it works for my little granddaughter.  Bless.

Her hair is taking a long time to grow, but, from the back, it looks as if its going to be curly!

Sunday 13 March 2011

Sunday Snap!

Here is a photo of my grandson, Elijah (Eli) on his first birthday in June 2009.  He loves strawberries, but he was just so tired after all the excitement that he fell asleep whilst still eating one!

Friday 11 March 2011

What Is Going On?!

I'm sure that I'm not the only one who is wondering what on earth is going on with the weather at the moment.  We have already been saying prayers for Australia and New Zealand, and now we have this terrible Tsunami following the quake in Japan.

Apparently, a Tsunami warning has been extended across the Pacific to North and South America.  Already 200 - 300 bodies have been found in the port city of Sendai in Japan.  A passenger train was washed away in another port and a ship carrying 100 people was swept away.

All this makes me feel very sad and I am just so very grateful to live in this quiet county of Devon here in England where, although we have the sea all around us, we have never experienced anything like this.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the poor people affected by yet another tragedy.

Short and Sweet Today!

Several of you have very kindly grabbed my Blog Button and included it into your Blog, and I am very grateful for this support.

However, the old Button that you have, unfortunately, does not work any more.   So I now have a new one on the right hand side of my side bar  for you to use, if you want to!

This new Button was created for me by Katherine's Corner and I'm sure she would be happy to create one for you as well!

I have gained quite a few new blogging friends over this past week or so, and I would just like to extend a very warm welcome to you all, and thank you for following!

Wishing you all a happy and relaxed weekend.